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Friday 19 September 2014

Stamp prices rise but rates still among lowest in EU

Claire McCormack

Published 18/07/2014 | 02:30

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THE PRICE of stamps will rise next week but the country's postal rates will continue to be among the lowest in Europe.

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On Monday, An Post's standard domestic letter rate will increase from 60c to 68c and the standard international letter rates will also increase from 90c to €1 for items up to 100g.

"There is a price cap mechanism which has been agreed with the regulator and that is very much the way which pricing is regulated upon across Europe," a spokeswoman for the state-owned service provider said.

An Post said the increase is necessary to stem their unsustainable financial losses which totalled at €55m in 2013.

"Unfortunately volumes have fallen by about 30pc since the peak of 2007 which means that our Universal service obligation is seriously loss making," she said.

Despite the increase, An Post's rates remain lower than 15 EU countries, including Britain, France, Belgium and Italy, and below the EU domestic average of 71c per stamp.

An Post said the significant fall in their business related service, which makes up 95pc of their business, is a global phenomenon.

"Our bread and butter mail, financial documents, a lot of them are moving online, onto electronic channels and it has resulted in a very serious loss in terms of a collection and delivery service five days a week and delivery for a uniform tariff," the spokeswoman said.

Although the company experienced a further 2.5pc decrease in the amount of letters sent in 2013, mail sparked from buying online is on the up.

A wide range of discount options continues to be available to businesses buying stamps in bulk and using meter mail, Ceadúnas licence and bulk-mail services, the spokeswoman explained.

Irish Independent

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